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USA and Spain lead the way at the Valsir Mountain World Cup Finalissima at Sky Gran Canaria.

Day two of the Valsir Mountain World Cup Finalissima at Sky Gran Canaria featured the longest race of the weekend, the Sky TPT38 Long. 

Finalissima Long 12 Credit WMRA MarcoGulberti

It was a demanding 38km which had to be changed from the original 2736m of ascent and the sections of steep, technical ground due to    the weather alert issued by the government. In any case, it was a great course, that saw runners start down on the coast of Maspalomas before traversing a series of volcanic canyons.

And if day one and the uphill-only race over 4km was all about flat-out power, this was very much a story of tactics, endurance, fuelling strategies and good old fashioned true grit, not to mention superb the descending skills required for the final 12km. 

Fortunately for the competitors, conditions cooled slightly – the islands have been enduring a heat wave – and the canyon walls provided much-needed shade, so it was possible to really push hard from the gun.

It was the USA’s Christian Allen who did just that to seize the early initiative to open up a commanding lead of more than three minutes by 22km. Allen has been in great form this year as his 2023 race programme demonstrates. The 28-minute 10k track runner has posted a string of impressive results all over the world, highlighted by a seven-minute victory in the Speedgoat 50k in the Wasatch Mountains, USA, or the impressive second place at Vertical Nasego or the third place at the Trofeo Nasego this Valsir Mountain Running World Cup season.

Allen, who is also a member of a newly formed Trail Team created to help athletes progress in the world of off-road running, crossed the line in 2:29:29, comfortably ahead of countryman Andrew Wacker who clocked 2:35:52. 

“I’m tired but I’m glad to be done. I was a little tired after yesterday and didn’t get much sleep because of the caffeine I’d taken (he finished third in uphill only 4km) but competing is all about adapting and going out there and having fun,” said Allen, who flew the final downhill 12km in a shade under 40 minutes.

A great race from the American this Sunday (tomorrow) over the Classic Distance Finalissima race, could see him move to as high as third in the overall rankings. But talking after this race, he’s not so sure he’ll be on the start line for the third race of a packed weekend. “But you never know,” he laughed. “We’ll see how I sleep tonight.”

Finalissima Long 13 Credit WMRA MarcoGulberti


In the women’s race, a superb final 12km from Spain’s Ikram Rharsalla Laktab saw her haul back a four-minute deficit to win by more than more than a minute. At first glance it appeared to be down solely to her sensational running over the closing stages given Italy’s Camilla Magliano has passed 22km more than four minutes to the good over Laktab, the Spanish representative in the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Innsbruck earlier this season. 

Unfortunately, however for Magliano, the Italian had taken a wrong – and costly – turn in the final canyon and it was Laktab who crossed the line first in 2:27:26 with Magliano close behind in 2:59:01.

Finalissima Long 8 Credit WMRA MarcoGulberti


“I’m happy with the win,” said Laktab, the surprised winner, who was understandably happy with the way things turned out. “It was a very runnable course, although I do like a bit more of a technical course with a touch more climbing,” she continued. 

Now it’s all about Sunday and the Sky A21 Classic which starts and finishes at the Muelle Viejo de Agaete. Initially, this race was going to be over 50km, but the extreme weather conditions in Gran Canaria means this will now be a shorter two-lap race over 22km.

The races in Gran Canaria form the final round of the 2023 World Cup rankings. Full results of Saturday’s races can be found here, while reports from Friday, Saturday and tomorrow’s race on Sunday can be found here

Finalissima Long 6 Credit WMRA MarcoGulberti

Finalissima Long 3 Credit WMRA MarcoGulberti